Should engineering internships be unpaid

How do I apply for an engineering internship at 16? [closed]

I tried emailing various companies large and small for an unpaid internship with my resume attached.

For a student with no university experience, I just don't think this approach will work well for you. As a young and inexperienced person, companies would take a huge risk to hire you. Even university interns don't add much to the company, but the upside is that they are very likely to return to work for the company in the future and are already being trained. You will get a lot of training and mentoring with a student, and if you are even in the same field, you are much less likely to want to work for them in 6-8 years. You are an unknown company with little potential benefit to the business, so cold calling is unlikely to be successful.

Another reason you probably haven't heard is that you are already on your summer break. You're so late in the game and companies are no longer hiring interns. Indeed, if you are already looking for next summer you are a little early and should probably wait until fall.

However, all of this doesn't mean you shouldn't still be looking for an internship! There are simply better approaches that you should take. You need to either go to a place that, despite your age, already has a reason to trust you, or to a place that you know is specifically looking for people your age and experience.

The most likely chance for luck (and maybe even for this summer) when you meet family and friends you know. It could be a computer store you visit frequently, a friend's mom, your neighbor, or your physics teacher's college friend. You need someone who knows you, your work ethic, and can vouch for you. If you manage to find someone willing to have you apprentice, you shouldn't expect to get paid. As I said before - you will learn a lot more than you actually contribute.

Another way, and in my opinion the right way to do this, is to find internships that are specifically designed for high school graduates. Some companies, government laboratories, and especially universities, offer programs that focus on teaching and training students. Find opportunities in your area that are specific to your age group and speak to your teachers and counselors to see if they know about programs. There probably aren't a lot of internships like this one, but you probably won't face as much competition either when you apply.